Top 10 Beaches in Massachusetts

Published on July 20th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Massachusetts?

Already a popular destination for RVers (and travelers of all stripes) thanks to its incredible seafood and unparalleled historical and cultural significance, Massachusetts is also home to some of the most scenic beach fronts in the States. From the epic string of shoreline along Cape Cod and the Atlantic to interior freshwater lake beaches, here are the top 10 places to get away from it all for a day of fun in the sun in Massachusetts.

Top Beaches in Massachusetts

1. Crane Beach

2. Wingaersheek Beach

3. Singing Beach

4. Boston Harbor Island State Park Beaches

5. Old Silver Beach

6. Coast Guard Beach

7. Head of the Meadow Beach

8. Race Point Beach

9. Horseneck Beach State Reservation

10. Lake Wyola State Park

Massachusetts Beaches

Let’s dive — or wade, if you prefer! — into these beautiful and popular Massachusetts beach destinations.

1. Crane Beach

View of beautiful Crane beach in autumn, Massachusetts, USA

In the far northeastern reaches of Massachusetts, just south of the New Hampshire border, Crane Beach awaits, offering visitors a beautiful, backcountry-esque beach experience with an untouched sandy shoreline backed up by tall coastal grasses that sway gently in the breeze. Part of the larger Crane Estate, a 2,100-acre preserve that was once the home of Chicago industrialist Richard T. Crane, Jr, this beach is surrounded by — and indeed accessible via — hiking trails, giving it a more rugged, serene atmosphere than some of the more popular boardwalk-lined beaches. (Think less building sand castles and more staring pensively out over the sea like a lovelorn character in a Victorian period film.) You might not want to venture too far into these chilly waters, but those who keep their feet dry can tour the on-site mansion or take a stroll through the gardens!

Things to do near Crane Beach: The town of Ipswich is relatively small but still full of fun things to see and do, including historical stops like the Hall-Haskell House and the John Whipple House. You’re also not far off at all from the Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary; here are some local RVshare rentals for those looking to make a trip of it.

2. Wingaersheek Beach

Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts, USA.

The city of Gloucester is set amidst a complicated network of waterways, including the Annisquam River — which dumps out into Ipswich Bay at a beautiful junction characterized by a sandy, rock-studded shore that’s great for tide-pooling in ebbing waters. The oasis we’re talking about? Wingaersheek Beach, which is simultaneously a popular and fairly untouched Massachusetts waterfront, a common destination for families whose children can spend endless hours picking through the rock pools that host fascinating ocean life they can see up close and personal while parents bask in the sunlight. An on-site snack bar is available to tide everyone over until it’s time to head back to town and take advantage of the area’s many tourist-aimed amenities. Do be aware that this popular destination can be a difficult place to find parking at — so get there early for your best chances!

Things to do near Wingaersheek Beach: Although this port city has always had some claim to fame, Gloucester’s recognition skyrocketed in 1997, when Sebastian Junger published The Perfect Storm. Those fascinated by the disaster story can visit the Crow’s Nest for drinks and accommodations, and there are plenty of other bars, restaurants, shops and attractions in town, too. Here are some local RVshare rentals.

3. Singing Beach

Singing Beach Massachusetts

Singing Beach is named not just for the way it’ll make you feel like singing when you arrive — no, the beach itself is in fact a unique musical phenomenon! During dry conditions, the sands of this unique beach rub against each other in a way that sounds a lot like song, thanks to the round shape of the individual grains and their specific diameter size. However, no matter when you visit or whether or not you get to hear the unique song of this north shoreline’s sands, you’ll be treated to stunning views and historical intrigue: the building now set aside as the beach concession stand was originally a 1920s bathhouse, and still offers restrooms, showers, and changing areas. There are also designated picnic areas, a section set aside for sports, and a shady patch for those who want to keep from burning.

Things to do near Singing Beach: Tucked approximately equidistant from Salem and Gloucester, this one-of-a-kind beach is within easy reach for many Massachusetts residents and visitors — and also less than an hour from Boston. There’s also public transit available from the capital city to Singing Beach, and given its popularity and the difficulty of finding parking, it might behoove you to take advantage. Here are some nearby RVshare rentals!

4. Boston Harbor Island State Park Beaches

Boston Lighthouse on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts MA, USA.

Boston Harbor is a place whose name has a lot of immediate recognition and connotations. We all remember the story of the Boston Tea Party. But this harbor is also home to a complex network of beachy islands and peninsulas — 34 individual sites, to be exact — that are managed by both the state of Massachusetts and the national park service. Park ferries can shuttle you from the city to places like Long Island (not the one in New York), Spectacle Island, or the Boston Light — which is still functioning despite its 1783 construction date. Many of these islands feature soft sandy beaches that are unguarded but also untouched, all within eyeshot of the iconic Boston skyline.

Things to do near the Boston Harbor Island State Park Beaches: Obviously, all of the many attractions and must-dos of Boston are just a short boat ride away from these unique beaches, including the New England Aquarium, the Paul Revere House, and so much more. Despite how urban it is, Boston is also surrounded by charming campgrounds, and there are plenty of great RVshare rentals in the area, too!

5. Old Silver Beach

Old Silver Beach Falmouth MA

Cape Cod is, of course, renowned for its shockingly beautiful beaches — but before you head all the way to the tip of the boot, be sure to make a stop at Old Silver Beach, which lies along the “heel” near the city of Falmouth. This western shoreline beach offers access to Buzzards Bay, which, thanks to the unique geography of the area, features considerably warmer waters than some of the other oceanside and even capeside beaches. A jetty splits the beach into two sections, one of which is reserved for locals and one of which is open to the public. The sands are soft and the wake is minimal, making this a great spot to head with the family for a classic day of swimming, sunbathing, and plain old summertime fun.

Things to do near Old Silver Beach: The town of Falmouth is small-ish but well appointed, offering everything you need to make your vacation comfortable and cozy — an RVshare rental can help with that, too. Looking for another view of this area’s natural habitat? Check out Beebe Woods, a historic forest that offers pet-friendly trails as well as two ponds to take a swim in.

6. Coast Guard Beach

Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

Moving down into the proper Cape Cod boot, Coast Guard Beach is uniquely situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Nauset Bay, offering an epic and iconic Massachusetts shoreline with vast, soft stretches of flat sands perfect for laying out a towel or two as well as rolling dunes and a rhythmically lapping seafront. In fact, the waves here do get so large, when conditions are right, that the beach is a favorite among northeastern surfers — so if you’re planning to take to the waves and you aren’t a super strong swimmer, keep your wits about you. Another option: exploring the nearby marshlands, which offer a different kind of waterfront experience and also the opportunity to encounter local wildlife. This beach is a popular spot for incredible sunsets, and the sunrises are pretty incredible, too, if you’re up early enough to catch them.

Things to do near Coast Guard Beach: The Cape Cod National Seashore Salt Pond Visitor Center is just minutes from this beach, giving visitors an overview of the unique flora, fauna, and history of this stunning natural landscape. The Nauset Lighthouse is another destination just a few minutes further north, which has been restored since its original 1838 opening date and is seasonally open for tours. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

7. Head of the Meadow Beach

Lifeguard chair on beach at Head of the Meadow beach, Truro, Massachusetts Cape Cod

A beach whose scenery and ambiance matches its whimsical name, Head of the Meadow is located alongside the town of Turo, just a few miles from where the boot ends in Provincetown. Known for its swaying seagrass, mystifying tide pools, pristinely white sands and rolling dunes, this beach is truly an iconic Massachusetts experience, and certain sections of it are patrolled by lifeguards during high season. Additionally, this beach allows surfing, though only outside of the zone set aside for swimmers, and when the tide is right, you can spot the remains of the ship Frances, which was wrecked in an 1872 storm (all aboard were saved). There’s also a two-mile bike path and plenty of opportunities to wander along the shoreline, as well as an adjacent camping area.

Things to do near Head of the Meadow Beach: The nearby Highlands Center at Cape Cod National Seashore is a former Air Force Station turned communal, interactive establishment of artists, scientists, and educators, which is open to the public for tours and certain experiences. Additionally, the Highland Lighthouse, built circa 1907, is just around the corner and a very Instagrammable attraction. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your trip!

8. Race Point Beach

The grass covered sand dunes leading to race point beach on the cape cod national seashore in massachusetts. on a sunny blue sky day.

An epic sandy swath along the northernmost section of Cape Cod’s boot, Race Point Beach is the reward for those who travel all the way out to Provincetown, standing sentinel over the place where Cape Cod Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. The wake is rowdy enough for surfers, but gentle enough close to the shoreline for wading (though you always want to proceed with caution when you’re talking about the ocean). The golden sands are lined along the back with the rolling dunes and seagrasses so typical of this area, and the beach also offers developed restrooms, showers, and changing areas to make for an easy and comfortable day in the sun. And when we say in the sun, we mean it: the geographic location of this beach means it’s blasted with rays from sunup to sundown from every direction, so you don’t want to skimp on the sunscreen!

Things to do near Race Point Beach: Provincetown is well konwn as a quaint but well-equipped tourist destination, with a thriving nightlife and a noteworthy queer community. The 1816 Race Point Lighthouse is also worth a stop, especially since it’s still an active navigational aid. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

9. Horseneck Beach State Reservation

 Beautiful scenery at Horseneck Beach State Reservation

Tucked along the southern shore of Massachusetts, just this side of the Rhode Island state line, Horseneck Beach State Reservation offers a unique perspective on the place where Buzzards Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Part salt marsh and part barrier beach, this seafront is one of the most unique in the state of Massachusetts and, indeed, the entire northeastern United States, and is renowned by bird watchers for its population of willets, sandpipers, and plovers. Lifeguards keep watch over the moderate wake, driven by the nigh-constant breeze in this area, and bike trails and a concession stand are nearby.

Things to do near Horseneck Beach State Reservation: Closest to the 15,000-resident town of Westport, Horseneck Beach State Reservation is fairly remote… which is part of its charm. There are still plenty of excellent RVshare rentals in the area to choose from, however!

10. Lake Wyola State Park

Lake Wyola
By The original uploader was Dragon Directories at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by IngerAlHaosului using CommonsHelper., GPL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8996608

As excellent as Massachusetts’ seaside beaches are, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to include an interior lake beach — and Lake Wyola State Park stands out from the crowd. Not only is this relatively small state park somewhat off the beaten path and therefore perhaps less crowded than other destinations, but it also offers a beautiful public beach whose soft sands and blue waters will make you feel like you’ve driven all the way to the coast. This park is also sometimes known as the Carroll A. Holmes Recreation Area, and although it’s day-use only, there are plenty of great camping opportunities in the area.

Things to do near Lake Wyola State Park: A variety of nearby wildernesses, including the Montague State Forest and the Wendell State Forest, offer nigh-endless outdoor recreation opportunities. Here are some nearby RVshare rentals to string together a longer trip with.

Planning an RV Trip to Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ beaches are truly incredible — but they’re only one small part of the overall majesty this state has to offer. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered on all the deets and resources you need to ensure your MA vacation is one-of-a-kind and awesome.

Firstly, we’ve got the best peer-to-peer RV rentals available in the state, of course. We’ve also written guides to the best Massachusetts state parks and campgrounds to see and stay in, as well as the cities of Boston and Cambridge.

All that’s left is for you to get out there and start exploring — so hop to it, and enjoy!

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